Ascent of Meadow Mountain on 2020-04-22

Climber: Mike Stinson

Date:Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Meadow Mountain
    Elevation:3196 ft / 974 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a pretty easy hike and bushwhack from Reeds Gap. Take the AT south, pass the North Peak of Meadow Mountain (it's easy to tag, just a couple steps off the trail), and continue on the AT until you're roughly halfway between the North summit and the main summit. You'll see a double blaze on a tree, the typical AT indication of an abrupt change in the trail. The trail bends left; go a little ways past this turn then pick your spot to turn right off the trail and continue along the ridge. You're basically continuing along the ridge in the same direction you've been going while the trail bends left and goes downhill. It's a bushwhack from here to the top, but a mild one. You might hit a few thorns at first, but if so, they won't last long. The walk along the ridge is more or less following the Blue Ridge Parkway / National Forest boundary, and I saw several marker posts as well as signs on trees indicating this line. (Also a hunter's tree stand.) It's a mild walk until the last section, when the top of the moutain rises a little more steeply. The actual summit is atop a neat boulder pile which takes one or two scrambling moves to climb, hence my use of the scramble icon.

Looking at the topo map, it might seem shorter to park along the shoulder of the Blue Ridge Parkway and scramble up to the top of this mountain from the west. That might work if you pick a good spot, but at least some of the northwest side of Meadow Mountain is rocky and covered with laurel hells. The route I've described looks longer, but aside from a couple of mildly steep spots, it's not problematic.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:786 ft / 238 m
    Extra Gain:120 ft / 36 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:Appalachian Trail and N ridge
    Trailhead:2650 ft / 807 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Part of Trip: Meadow Mountain (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Meadow Mountain-North Peak2020-04-223 ft / 1 m
2Meadow Mountain2020-04-22786 ft / 240 m
Total Trip Gain: 789 ft / 241 m    Total Trip Loss: 789 ft / 241 m

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